Using Audible spoken word files with iPod

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Learn how iPod software works with Audible spoken word files.

iPod 1.2 software and later can play Audible spoken word files, which are easily recognized by their filename extension: ".aa".

Tip: All audio books purchased from the iTunes Store are Protected AAC files recognized by the filename extension "m4b".

You can purchase spoken word content from the iTunes Store, or from

Audible Formats

When you purchase a book from Audible, depending on the title, you may be able to download it in several different formats. iPod only works with Audible 2, 3, and 4 formats. The different formats are designed for different purposes as outlined here.

Format 2

Designed for maximum compression and smallest file size. The sound quality is the poorest of the formats, but allows you to store more books in the same amount of space.

Format 3

Designed for best quality and compression for spoken voice recordings.

Format 4

This is an MP3 compression of the spoken voice recording, but in the .aa format so iTunes and iPod can use bookmarks. This format usually results in a larger file than Format 3, so it may not be the best format for spoken voice recordings that don't have any music.

If the sound quality of an Audible file on iPod is not to your liking, you may want to download it in a different format if one is available.

Apple does not provide support for using the Audible website or with the quality of the Audible files. For assistance with Audible spoken word files contact Audible. If you purchased an audiobook from the iTunes Store and need help, contact us.


iPod 1.2 software and later works with the bookmark feature of Audible files. If you stop or pause an Audible file, it will automatically bookmark that spot. The next time you play that file it will start playing from the bookmarked spot.

Bookmarks sync to and from iTunes. Whichever bookmark is further along in iPod or iTunes becomes the effective bookmark.

Bookmarks work with both Audible files (with .aa file extension) and Audio Books purchased from the iTunes Store (with .m4b file extension). If you have an audio book or spoken word file in any other format, such as MP3, click here for information on the remember playback position feature in iTunes 5 or later.

Three Computers Per Account

Audible's licensing agreement allows you to play the files you have purchased on three different computers. On each computer you can authorize your Audible account with iTunes by adding the files to iTunes or by playing them in iTunes if you previously deauthorized your account. You can download and listen to your spoken word files on all three computers. iPod does not count as one of the three computers.

Two Accounts Per iPod

iPod does not count as one of the three computers in Audible's licensing agreement, but you may only download books from two different Audible accounts to your iPod.

If you try to download an Audible file purchased with a third Audible account, iTunes will not synchronize the file, and this message will appear:

"Some of the Audible Files in the iTunes music library were not copied to the iPod "iPod" because an iPod may only contain content from two Audible accounts."

If you manually manage your iPod's songs and playlists, you won't be able to copy a file from a third account to your iPod either. No message will appear to explain why the file doesn't copy.

Audible and Earlier Version of iTunes

Some customers may experience an issue where they receive the error message above when trying to sync content to their iPod even if they do not have content from more than two accounts on the iPod. This issue may be resolved by updating to the latest version of iTunes and making sure that your your computer is authorized to play the content being synced as described above.

Related Documents

61656: iTunes: About Using Audible Spoken Word Files

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute Apple's recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Published Date: Oct 7, 2016